What’s it like to experience a forest fire when your home is in that forest?
In a word, scary. Here is a link about our experience with this 3 years ago in June of 2011.
With all the national attention to the Slide Fire in Oak Creek Canyon we’ve been getting a lot of emails, texts, and calls asking if we’re OK. Yes we are but in light of our experience 3 years ago with being evacuated, we are sympathetic to those who were more directly affected by the Slide Fire.
The photo above is just the smoke from the slide fire which is many miles from our home. There have been air quality warnings on several days due to smoke, however, because of effective fire management and conditions, no homes were lost and a lot of “good fire” got on the ground! As a fire ecologist, here’s my take on it… Although there are some high severity patches- this is what the media will show you- most of the fire burned at low to moderate severity, mimicking natural fire for these forests.
The next time you drive through Oak Creek Canyon it will look different, but remember that nature is dynamic. The large hillsides of shrubs, called chaparral, naturally burn at a high severity and although it may look shocking, the shrubs will come back- they are adapted to this kind of fire!